A Tibetan Ceremonial Staff Finial, 17th century

3828 v2
3828 2

Item ref: 3828

  • Tibet
  • Iron, sIlver and gilding
  • 28 cm / 11 in


Private Collection EuropeProvenance: Private Collection Europe

The flaming sword is the weapon characteristic of the bodhisattva Manjusri, symbolising the transcendent wisdom that cuts down ignorance and duality. It is usually fitted with a basket hilt or a vajra at the pommel, but here is presented a staff finial, comparable with the trident finials offered in our previous catalogue, and intended to be mounted in the same way, with a sandalwood haft fitted with a vajra or stylised thunderbolt terminal.

The head is broad and leaf shaped, with wins at the base, surmounted at the tip with a fretted orle of gilded flames. The body of the head is silvered with a gilded border. All the overplay of precious metals is executed by hammering foil into a cross-hatched ground in the base iron. The socket is decorated with bands of silver and gold, with a border of lotus buds at the base, where it is engraved with an inventory number, 35.